A New Era

Madeleine Sheils named CU women’s golf head coach, starting next season; now the Buffs’ associate head coach, Sheils played on LPGA Tour and was assistant coach for Stanford’s 2022 national championship team

By Gary Baines – 10/25/2023

The last time the University of Colorado had named a new head coach for its women’s golf program, Bill Clinton was just beginning his second term as President and the Denver Broncos had yet to win their first Super Bowl title.

But on Wednesday, the Buffs announced who will lead their women’s golf team into the future — starting next season.

Nine days after making public that longtime head coach Anne Kelly will retire at season’s end — after 27 years at the helm in Boulder — CU announced that her successor will be her associate head coach, Madeleine Sheils.

“I am very grateful to be named the next CU head women’s golf coach,” Sheils said in a release. “First, I express my heartfelt gratitude to Anne Kelly. She brought me to Boulder last summer and has been a wonderful mentor and friend ever since. Her kindness, patience and humor are the foundations of Colorado women’s golf, and I have big shoes to fill as I follow a coach who has positively influenced so many lives.”

CU’s current season will end somewhere between April 23 and May 22, depending if the Buffs advance to NCAA Regionals or the national championships. 

Sheils is in the midst of her second season on the CU coaching staff as she succeeded her longtime predecessor, Brent Franklin, in the summer of 2022. Prior to coming to CU, Sheils was an assistant at Stanford, which won the women’s NCAA team title that year. During Sheils’ three seasons at Stanford, the Cardinal claimed 11 stroke-play titles, along with 13 individual victories. (It should be noted that Rose Zhang, the top-ranked women’s amateur in the world for 142 weeks, played at Stanford from 2021-23 before going pro in the late spring of this year.)

“She is one of the up-and-coming coaching stars in women’s golf,” Kelly said if Sheils. “She knows the game, loves Colorado, cares about developing our players not only as golfers but successful confident women. Maddie is very hard working, intelligent and competitive. CU women’s golf will be very fortunate to have Maddie lead this team into the Big 12 and the future. I feel extremely confident handing this program over to coach Sheils.”

Before getting into coaching, Sheils played on the LPGA and Epson Tours, with a total of 25 LPGA starts, with a best finish of 35th place. She played her college golf at Nebraska, where she won one individual title. She was named first-team All-Big Ten in 2012 as a senior. Sheils is a 34-year-old native of Boise, Idaho.

About the Writer: Gary Baines has covered golf in Colorado continuously since 1983. He was a sports writer at the Daily Camera newspaper in Boulder, then the sports editor there, and has written regularly for since 2009. He was inducted into the Colorado Golf Hall of Fame in 2022. He owns and operates